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D-Day Commemoration: Sarkozy's finest hour

 
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Jun, 2009 02:28 pm
@Setanta,

I ordered Mr Beevor's book from Amazon this morning, tho' one of the reviewers said Max Hastings' book on the subject, Overlord, is superior.

Still, Beevor is good, judging from his previous books on WWII history.

I look forward to reading it.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Jun, 2009 02:33 pm
If expresses the least respect for Montgomery's military skills, you'll know at the outset that he isn't qualified to judge military events.
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Jun, 2009 02:42 pm
@Setanta,

Montgomery never liked to advance unless he had a 10:1 numerical advantage and some backup.

Well, every successful team needs a defence as well as an offence.
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 03:23 pm
@McTag,

Quote:
Montgomery never liked to advance unless he had a 10:1 numerical advantage and some backup.



Well I'm obviously not an expert, but that was my understanding of his tactics in North Africa. Caution.

However watching a documentary this evening, it was reported that he had great success in the advance across France, making fast progress, but then argued bitterly with Eisenhower and Patton, especially about supplies which he needed for his thrust towards the Ruhr.
He lost out in that argument, and then came badly unstuck trying to capture the bridge at Arnhem. Uncaution. He couldn't get his armour up soon enough to support the paratroopers. A bridge too far.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 04:17 pm
@McTag,
McTag wrote:

Quote:

Montgomery never liked to advance unless
he had a 10:1 numerical advantage and some backup.

Patton was fond of referring to him as
pouncing on the Germans like a ferocious rabbit.





David
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Jun, 2009 08:06 pm
@McTag,
Montgomery was perfectly prepared to the fight . . . the First World War. He had all these silly ideas about phase lines, and coordinated avances, and he would actually hold up units which had shown initiative and were effecting breakthroughs so that everyone could get to the phase line before advancing again. That was disaster for the New Zealanders at el Alamein, who had suffered terribly in the advance, but then broke into the German defensive position, scattering them. But no effort was made to exploit this breakthrough, and the Kiwis were held up waiting for everyone else to reach the "phase line." The Germans, of course, had registered their own positions with their artillery, and just pasted the Kiwis as they waited for everyone else to reach the phase line and continue the advance. Rommel was able to extricate an army which he had thought was doomed. Rommel had no great respect for Montgomery, either.

The worst of Montgomery's crimes, though, was his conduct of the counter-offensive to the "battle of the bulge." Patton had offered, more than once, to take three divisions, break through the German line at the German border, and attempt to bag the whole lot. Even if he could not have bagged them, they'd have been forced into a headlong retreat in bad weather on bad roads. But Montgomery threw one of his hissy fits, and pissed and moaned and pouted until Ike gave him command of the counter-offensive. He hit the Germans head on, and pulled this phase line bullshit. American paratroop units were veteran, and accustomed to fighting behind enemy lines, without direct communications. Time and again American PIRs (parachute infantry regiment) would take their objective, and continue to hit the Germans hard while they still reeling. This messed up Monty's pretty lines on the maps, and when he actually ordered American PIRs to withdraw to their phase lines, Matthew Ridgeway, the senior American paratroop commander, refused to serve under him any longer, and begged Ike to let him pull out the PIRs--but Ike would not agree to that.

That winter of 1944-45 was just about the worst winter in living memory, and everyone involved suffered horribly. But worst of all, the Americans and the English suffered vast unnecessary casualties as Monty hit the Germans head on again, and again, and again. He employed no subtlety, and his insistence on his idiotic phase lines resulted in thousands of futile casualties, many of them frost-bite or men actually freezing to death in the lines. This is a little known episode in the war, and that's because everyone could see how bad it was at the time, and so it has not been much discussed in the histories.

It might have happened again, too, with Monty insisting that his "bounce the Rhine" plan should have absolute priority. One of Courtney Hodges First Army divisions managed to take the Rhine bridge at Remagen, and Ike sure as hell wasn't going to order them to recross the Rhine just to feed Monty's vanity. But he did let Montgomery play his silly little games, and as usual, that meant that Monty got nearly everything he wanted, including American troops, and even an airborne division (but not any of Matthew Ridgeway's divisions). It was a typical Montgomery slaughter, since the Germans had figured out weeks before the attack that it was coming, and shot hell out of the paratroops as they came down, and the assault boats as they crossed the river.

No, i don't entertain a high opinion of Monty's military credentials.
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 09:27 am

Hey, my book arrived this morning, on the 6th of June. Spooky.

(it wasn't due for another 2 or 3 working days)
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 10:31 am
@McTag,
Let me know who won, 'K?
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 02:35 pm
@Setanta,

BBC4 here is showing an entire evening of programmes about D-Day this evening. And no breaks for commercials, either.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 01:36 am
@McTag,
McTag wrote:


BBC4 here is showing an entire evening of programmes about D-Day this evening. And no breaks for commercials, either.

I 'm watching it on Channel 112, the Military Channel,
while I hold a prize of war in my hand;
like touching history: a 9mm German Luger P-'08, dated 1940.
Its accurate; not much recoil. Its very comfortable in the hand.
Sleek; Georg Luger was a genius. He invented it in 1898.

It has visible hand wear on it; must be of interesting provenance,
surrendered by a German officer.





David
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 05:20 am
@McTag,
They have done much the same on "the History Channel." (The principle difference being, the HC did not give up commercials . . . you commies!)

Most of it was predictable, Saving Private Ryan, The Longest Day--the former being ostensibly gritty reality, the latter the sanitized version for the families of the men who fought the war, and who were then not even yet middle-aged. They had one program about Omaha beach, which i did not see, but which the blurb on the programming guide said was intended to explain why Omaha beach was such a charnel house, while the GIs at Utah beach waded ashore to little resistance. I was surprised, but probably shouldn't have been, since we should never expect the nickel to drop for popular sources of information as quickly as for academic and specialist sources. Still, it's been 65 years, it's not as though that story were a news flash.

The Girl doesn't much care for war movies nor for documentaries on war, and it's my experience that documentaries on the History Channel are usually about 15 minutes of substance, and the rest is repetition following every spate of loud, annoying advertising. I mean, really, how long does it take to explain the difference between Utah beach and Omaha Beach. In fact, you don't need 15 minutes for that, unless you devote 10 minutes to making the audience aware that there was a war then, that it was necessary to invade Europe, that Normandy was chosen (because the Pas de Calais was too obvious and too heavily defended) and the Germans hadn't time to build defences up as well there, because Rommel was about the only German officer who had the sense to see it coming in Normandy.

Once you've done that, you need a few minutes to explain the difference between Utah and Omaha beaches, and your show is done.

The amount of utter crap broadcast on the History Channel continues, after all these years, to amaze me.
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 11:44 am
http://images.icanhascheezburger.com/completestore/2008/12/7/128731105927180973.png
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 02:15 pm
I think your graph, in ignoring commercial interruption, grossly overrates the amount of actual history which gets broadcast.
0 Replies
 
 

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